After an absence of nearly 40 years, trams are set to again run up and down Prague’s Wenceslas Square. The city council have just approved a plan for a tram connection between existing tracks on Vinohradská Street and those crossing the lower half of the city’s main boulevard. If everything goes according to plan, trams could return to Wenceslas Square as soon as 2022.
The Prague authorities have taken the first step to reintroducing tram
lines running down Wenceslas Square. At a meeting on Tuesday, the recently
elected council instructed the transport authority to begin preparations
for a connection between existing tracks on Vinohradská St. and those
crossing the lower half of the city’s main thoroughfare.
Deputy mayor for transport Adam Scheinherr says the lines could be in place within four years. Trams went from the National Museum down Wenceslas Square until the 1980s.
Another line running from Vinohradská St. past Prague’s Main Train Station is also planned for a later date, officials say.
Cheaper train and bus fares for people under 26 and over 65 were introduced
in the Czech Republic on Saturday. They will now have to pay just a quarter
the price of regular tickets.
The move represents the fulfilment of one of the promises made by Prime Minister Andrej Babiš’s ANO party in pre-election campaigning. It will cost the state up to CZK 6 billion crowns, though no precise estimate can be made, iDnes.cz reported.
The news website said Czech Railways had set aside 50 extra carriages with a capacity of 4,000 seats in case there were a sudden spike in traveller numbers.
Finnish Transtech Oy, a subsidiary of the Czech company Škoda
Transportation, will deliver ten Artic trams to the city of Helsinki. The
price of the contract amounts to 750 million crowns.
There are currently 48 trams of the same type operating in the Finnish capital. As of 2021, they will also operate on a newly built track in the city of Tampere. The Plzeň-based transport company Škoda Transportation acquired a controlling stake in Finland’s sole manufacturer of rail vehicles abd trams in August 2015.
Two black-painted trams adorned with written excuses frequently proffered
by passengers without tickets have gone into service in Prague.
The Czech term for free riders is “black passenger” and the trams are part of a campaign entitled “Are you riding black?”
Also part of the drive is an offer of half-price fines for free riding if the offending passenger purchases a yearly pass.
Prague council has instructed the Prague Institute of Planning and
Development to change the city’s territorial plan to allow for the
building of a further section of a planned new “D” Metro line. The
addition to the underground rail network should run northeast from
Náměstí Míru to Žižkov and then on to Vysočany. However, it is not
yet clear what precise route it will follow or where it will have stations.
The first part of the D line should run from Písnice in the south of the city to Pankrác, which should later be connected to Náměstí Míru. Discussions about constructing a fourth Metro line began in the 1980s.
The whole of the Prague Metro system should have mobile phone coverage by the year 2022 after the supervisory board of the city’s transport authority this week approved a deal with a consortium of mobile operators. The first stage of the rollout should begin on part of the C (or red) line this year.